A strange memorial can be found in the Mount Hope Cemetery of Hiawatha, Kansas.
John M. Davis, an orphan, developed a strong dislike for his wife’s family and insisted that none of his fortune go to them. He also refused requests that he eventually bequeath his estate for a hospital desperately needed in the area. Instead, after his wife died on 1930, Mr. Davis chose to invest in an elaborate tomb for himself and his wife.
The tomb includes a number of statues depicting the couple at various stages of their lives. One statue is of Mr. Davis as a lonely man seated beside an empty chair titled “the vacant chair”. Another shows him placing a wreath in front of his wife’s tombstone. Many of the statues are of Kansas granite. No money was left for the memorial’s upkeep.
Today, largely because of its weight, this costly memorial is slowly sinking into the ground. It has become weathered and worn from the strong winds in this plains state. The townspeople regard the Davis tomb as an “old man’s folly”, and many predict that within the next fifty years, the memorial will have become obliterated beyond recognition, and will need to be demolished. What could have been a living legacy will eventually become granite dust.